Monday, November 22, 2010

TV Police: Sprint Cup Series On ESPN From Homestead


It's been a long season for the Sprint Cup Series on TV. Four networks, over thirty on-air personalities and very different telecasts provided for fans.

SPEED handled the Daytona Duels and the All-Star race. FOX, TNT and ESPN/ABC covered the points races with ESPN televising all ten Chase races. A combination of SPEED and ESPN2 handled practice and qualifying.

Sunday, it all came down to the final ESPN telecast from Homestead. After a one-hour pre-race show on ESPN2, the coverage switched to ESPN and the race began. Investigating this coverage requires the ultimate TV cop.

Allen Bestwick anchored the pre-race with a full hour in the Infield Pit Studio. Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty and Ray Evernham discussed the topics of the day and watched a lot of edited features with the TV viewers.

NASCAR Chairman Brian France showed up for a brief interview where he spread his positive message of change for the better and promoted a new eco-friendly sport. Wallace and Daugherty both asked him clearly scripted questions for which he was well prepared.

Bestwick and company eventually handed off to Reid and the guys in the booth. For several years now, ESPN has struggled with trying to cover the Chase and the race. It's a tough task that may be rather unique in sports.

On this Sunday, fans saw a new element this season with a designated graphics bar at the top of the screen detailing the Chase points as they changed live. This made the graphics stack at the top of the screen three deep. As usual, ESPN continued to also insert a lower third graphics crawl with other sports scores.

Denny Hamlin had a spin early on, creating a story that ESPN was challenged to cover. The Hamlin saga continued to unfold during the race, with the situation of updating the other two Chasers, the race and Hamlin proving to be tough.

Joey Logano was an accident victim and his exit was followed-up with a garage interview. The normal TV issues like showing debris on caution flags, following the racing instead of the stars and updating Lucky Dogs and restart information continued.

As we have seen so often in Chase races, new names like Stewart and Burton would suddenly pop-up as being in contention and passing cars. These top teams were never updated and big names like Junior, Mark Martin and Juan Montoya were rarely uttered.

For those fans who are also online during the race, there was certainly lots of information flowing that never made it to the TV telecast. Conversations between drivers were replayed many minutes later, information like cars hitting the wall was never mentioned.

A late penalty on Kevin Harvick was not really shown because of a pit road injury to another crew member. Cautions with Dave Blaney and Jeff Gordon were reported on the air long before the cameras found the cars involved. Joey Logano and Montoya mixing it up was never shown and mentioned only once. It's been an issue when something happens that ESPN has not planned to cover in advance.

The accident with Harvick and Kyle Busch was treated delicately on the air. The follow-up interview was polite, but the incident in general was brushed aside by the TV booth. There were once again no strong opinions expressed.

Commercials are part of every race. During an event like this that is being run both for a race win and a championship, commercial breaks are rather painful. ESPN stayed with the heavy commercial rotation and it was rough for an event like this with no big caution periods.

ESPN has allocated post-race time for this season and it has worked out very well. Finally allowing the stories developed during the race to be completed made sense. Hopefully, this practice will continue for next season.

This post is designed to host your comments on the ESPN coverage of the final Sprint Cup Series race from Homestead. To add your TV-related comment, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting.

105 comments:

KoHoSo said...

Joe Friday is an appropriate choice for this week's TV police as he was famous for saying, "Just the facts." Joe would have done so many of his usual scene-ending head shakes while watching today's race that he would have shown up the next week in one of those neck collars because of suffering from whiplash after ESPN missed so many "facts."

Really...what can I or any of us add at this point? Except for AB, Dr. Punch, and some occasional good input from AP and DJ, what didn't ESPN botch that they screwed up through almost their entire portion of the Cup contract?

I will be looking forward to regularly following The Daly Planet through the off-season to eagerly read about what changes will be coming in 2011 with all of those that have a piece of NASCAR television and live streaming. Thank you Mr. Daly for putting up with us Planeteers and what must be nauseating for you to watch as somebody who was a pro in the business. For those of you taking a break until 2011, have a great holiday season! For those of you who have given up on NASCAR and won't be back...well, I don't blame you and I just might join you after 2011 because 2010 was just about the last straw for me as well.

Roland said...

That was the nail in the coffin for not only Denny Hamlin, but for Marty Reid, and the sport of Nascar in general. Lot of fans are walking away after this mess. Im so dissapointed that the 48 won this title. This dominance is not good for the sport. Nail in the coffin in more ways than one.

Coverage was decent until the end. Marty was excited at the beginning but couldnt keep up with the information. That points ticker came in really handy throughout the race. Definately dont want to see it at every chase race next year, but it was necessary for this race.

My heart goes out to the 11 team for fighting an incredible fight. My heart goes out to all the fans who are leaving the sport after this. I dont blame you.

AncientRacer said...

How appropriate, Jack Webb. Mark VII Productions; an icon. What would Jack Webb say about next year? "JD for producer, its just the facts, ma'am."

Early this morning there was a private meeting with 5 attendees: BZF, Helton, Childress, Gibbs, and Hendrick. Was the buzz of the track here. "What went on?"

I guess we know.

Has been real, people. Will check in now and again, and in 90 days my faith will be renewed somehow.

THANKS, JD! BEST NASCAR SITE EVER!

Now, A fine debauch on South Beach seems essential... Jus' sayin!

OSBORNK said...

I wanted to watch a race but they didn't show one. They concentrated on three cars that weren't challenging for the race. The other 40 cars might as well have stayed home. The bobble heads didn't have a clue as to what was going on in the race and they didn't seem to care.

HMS drivers are a great deal of the reason the ratings are down. They have two drivers responsible. JJ because he is winning and Jr. because he is not.

Dave said...

I'm sick of this. NASCAR wonders why fans are leaving in droves. Here's why:
1. Political correctness, shown by the interview with Brian France pre-race
2. Terrible TV coverage, there should not need to be a blog to cover how bad it is.
3. Debris (DRAMA and FAKE) cautions to bunch up field because they racing isnt as competitive as they say it is.
4. The Chase. A manufactured Champion.
5. Brian France. This is not other sports, its racing! Get that in your head or step down and move out of the way!

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe I pay so much for cable channels, especially the astronomical per subscriber fees for the ESPN/Disney channels and am still bombarded with a deluge of commercials as if I were watching an over-the-air television station with no other revenue streams. This issue has gotten particularly bad this year and looks to get no better in the future. NASCAR and ESPN/Disney's greed and gluttony and their collective willingness to walk all over us with the pitiful race coverage certainly makes it easy for me to consider just walking away from this garbage and not look back.

Anonymous said...

here it is in a nutshell

the espn "duh"-rector had the chance to show the 48,11 and 29 in the frame for the last 3 laps. What did we get?
Jimmie, jimmie, JIMMIE and Jim-ME.
If NASCAR ESPN or anyone wonders whats wrong with the sport and ratings....there it is.

Control what you can control. React to the other.
ESPN and NASCAR do neither

Bray

JohnP said...

The reaction to Johnson's 5th title was instant in my online world. I think Nascar just lost a lot more fans today after penalizing Harvick in the final race when he might of beat Johnson. Hamlin was already done after his spin, then Nascar took care of Harvick. This win of Johnson will be horrible for Nascar come next year.

The problem with this issue is Nascar throws fake debre cautions. Many think that penality was fake so SuperMan could win the title again.

Nascar has done this to themselves.

See you all in February, maybe.

MeekloBraca said...

Nascar.com seems to be run by the same incumpoops that run ESPN. They have Harvick as leading 2 laps and finishing the season 2nd in points. Of course he didnt lead those laps and has finished 3rd.

MeekloBraca said...
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Anonymous said...

ESPN + Marty Reid = Let's watch some football.

Seriously... the man has trouble completing full, coherent sentences and does NOT have a clue what is happening on the track.

Please put somebody else there. Please!?

MeekloBraca said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dave said...

How appropriate that the ESPN mike isnt working now

JohnP said...

And Thank You JD - You write wonderful thought provoking articles that people in Nascar needs to pay attention to, and learn to understand.

To all the Planeteers......

Have a great Thanksgiving, Merry Chirstmas and have a great New Year.

:) Cheers to all.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Thanks JP, new columns every single day right here through the end of the year. Lots of things shaking in TV land.

One of my fav sayings is "Keep coming back!"

sbaktr17 said...
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saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Jimmie wins #5 Surprise surprise.

What is driving fans away from the sport. I agree with dave It is Brian France and the way he runs the sport. The chase is a system of a manufactured champion, not a true champion. The chase is not only driving away fans it is driving away sponsors. Brian France needs to be impeached by say this evening. I've said it before but it bears repeating, Brian France is ruining NASCAR. Not only by being politically correct but by the Etch-A-Sketch rules. Good for Kyle, i'm glad to see that he has testosterone by flipping the bird at NASCAR. And the TV coverage, need i say more about that.

ESPN and NASCAR needs to really work on their egos to get fans/viewers back.

JD, if murder was legal, could we shoot, no better yet fire a bazooka at both Jimmie Johnson and Brian France.

saltsburgtrojanfan
A very POed ex NASCAR fan in Pennsylvania

Vicky D said...

I guess it was good coverage if one of your favorite drivers was one of the 3 chasers, but since my guy isn't, it was terrible. I don't think ESPN can get any better they concentrated on those 3 drivers and missed so many others. I'm glad the racing is off for a couple of months so I can calm down and try to look forward to the 2011 season. John I liked the picture of Jack Webb.

sbaker17 said...

sbaktr17 said...
Thanks JD for all you do.
Will be checking in daily in the off season to get "Just the facts, Maam"
Knew they would get it :)


You know it's a long day when one can'y even spell his own name

Scott

Anonymous said...

I, for one have really enjoyed TDP this season and look forward to it in the upcoming weeks with all the announcements that will be coming. Kudos this year to Larry Mac,DJ, Andy, Evernham,and AB for a job well done. In retrospect, I think 'Have at it' needs to be reined in a bit. I think it will take a while for Jimmie's five,consecutive wins to sink in. The Fords coming on strong should make next year interesting. I think the networks could all benefit from a 'less is more' approach to broadcasting. The networks have an opportunity to make wholesale changes to their programs and content. Let's hope they've recognized what sites like this one are signaling.

Sophia said...

HORRIBLE coverage & mic trouble to interview the HISTORY MAKING DRIVER & OWNER.


Did ANYBODY ELSE FINISH this race?? Tony Stewart? Dale Jr? Hello?


As Ancient Racer or somebody gave us earlier. These words describe the coverage.

pitiable, pitiful,pieous,, to be pitied, wretched,, sad, doleful, dolorus,, dolorific, sorrowful, mournful, lamentable,regrettable, deplorable, rueful, woeful, woebegone

I mostly listened off and on to MRN online...every glance of the TV was DISGUSTING.

Too many graphics, over done with the HARVICK, HAMBLIN, JOHNSON line...BSPN's bottom crawl.

Sorry but some guys in the booth do NOT do it for me thus driven to Twitter & online to listen.

Brian France should be ashamed for what he praises as good coverage on ESPN?

He is truly DELUSIONAL.

Thanks for the site JD so I can commiserate the end of the year with others.

I've never SKIPPED so many tv races & DELETED on dvr or just watched last 20 laps, due to dreadful "camera work"

Lather...Rinse...Repeat

Sophia said...
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Anonymous said...

There were a lot of things wrong with the broadcast. Just wondering if anyone remembers the interviews with AJ Almendinger and Aric Almirola for their top 5 finishes. Maybe I missed it.

Jojaye said...

Finally the espn portion of the season is Over!

The bright spot has been Dr. Jerry Punch back on pit road. He has been under used, that said, when he is on air he gives accurate concise info every time. He asks the questions we fans want the answers for, and waits respectfully while he gets his answer. And every driver ( even KyBu) answers & shows respect.


Even Allen Bestwick could not iron out this cluster today! He tried but as soon as Marty got the ball in his court he whiffed it.The "nail in the competitors coffins"
flub up at the end was just one of many.

Todays "finale" was the most woebegone, pathetic, lethargic and tongue tied excuse for coverage yet.

Missing the passes for the lead, not knowing there was a garage confrontation, insipid questions for Gordon from Vince, cars hit walls - we get to see a replay ( when they care enough to bother themselves) - the complete invisibility of 40 of the cars on the track, even the cars driven by other "chase drivers" were ignored.
Today Vince asked a question of KyBu and it was just as bad as the question he asked Jeff Gordon. Really unprofessional. Not well thought out. Ill conceived.

Commercial overload, network advertising every other sporting event they could with full screen graphics going to & coming from commercials.

Did you know when tires lose air they go flat? Back to you Marty - aka Tim Brewer is just worthless.

Cars in boxes, crew chief in box, 3 drivers in car shots in boxes. I hope people careers are boxed up & shipped out over this.

I should not need to use MRN, Trackpass & a blog to get info that should be given by the on air "talent" - the shame is NASCAR refuses to use the side by side commercials used in other motorsports.

Today was just a disjointed mess.

Ashton said...
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Anonymous said...

ESPN shows maybe, at best, 10 of the front runners, Danica, and the rest is commercials, self-promos, and things totally unrelated to racing.

I just had an insight - assuming that they have paid Nascar to cover their events, and they fill these events with little coverage and a lot of pushing and shoving to steal viewers for events like football...is France's already misguided company getting any value?

Clearly the commentary is from people they've just thrown into the job, the focus is on race teams who predominantly advertise on ESPN's channel, etc.

Meanwhile, anyone who is interested in the other 33 racers, their 'stories' and so forth get relegated to Valhalla to suffer.

And as I've said elsewhere - not only is this killing viewership, but it's killing the very teams many of us love through reduced sponsorship potential.

So - have fun, ESPN and France. You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip.

51 yr. fan said...

I was wondering this morning how
they were going to nail RCR. Why
didn't E$PeeN show him entering like they usually do? Too controversial or just pathetic
producing?

Congrats to the 48 team.

Thanks for all you do JD. Without
your column and the Planeteers I
would have given up on NA$CAR a
long time ago.

Anon 4:50; You coined a new term
with "Duh" rector. LOL

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Anon 5:11

What is valhalla

Don said...

I'm surprised that so many think that this championship was fixed. NASCAR knew as well as the rest of us that after the 3rd in a row, Jimmie needed to be stopped. They are fighting just as hard to keep Jimmie out as they are to get Junior in.

That's not to say that I don't believe NASCAR fixes races. Some of those late debris cautions ae suspicious. But they wouldn't encourage five in a row unless they had a real personality up front like John Force or Dale Sr. Someone that everyone could get behind. This last will only hurt them.

I think it virtually guarantees some half-crazed scheme in next year's chase. Periodic eliminations, double points, something equally inane.

I'm disappointed by the dominance of the 48, but they have to be exceedingly good to be able to pull off five in a row. They have a superior game plan. I was a Petty fan, and although he didn't dominate the championship year after year, he did dominate the win column. That hasn't keep him from being hailed as one of the greats. Give Jimmie his due.

Zetona said...

Homestead produces some of the best racing of the season, which is why it's a shame to see it ignored every year in favor of the championship. There were also far too many commercials, and I heard few notifications about lead changes.

Almirola and Allmendinger fourth and fifth! That might have been Aric's best career finish. I wish they'd interviewed him.

And what happened to Montoya? He's listed as "Out" due to an accident. Does anyone know anything more than that he tangled with Logano?

GinaV24 said...

Joe Friday -- awesome choice. Totally insipid coverage by ESPN today.

I wanted to see the race, but instead I got points as they ran, commercials, commercials, commercials and coverage only of the script. Heck, they really had 3 guys to cover and they didn't even get that right.

The good - allen bestwick, Dr. Punch (thanks for going back to pit road and giving the fans solid information).

No, I'm not excited that the 48 team won another 10 race trophy and no amount of hype by ESPN or NASCAR will change that. Instead of ending the year thinking I can't wait until next year, I feel let down.


JD, thanks for the site, for putting up the aggravation that you do. I'm looking forward to your new columns through the new year. The site is an island of sanity amongst the craziness of NASCAR TV.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Travel safe if you are traveling.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I can smell Nascar's downfall after this chase. Thanks to Denny and Kevin whom somehow made this thing interesting. As for ESPN is clear that they do what pleases them.
Finally thanks to you JD, I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe in your purpose. See you in Daytona.

Daly Planet Editor said...

ESPN unofficially told us that someone started to transmit on the wireless frequency being used for the presentation.

Dave Burns gave up his wireless that was on a different freq in order to solve the problem.

Probably some track guys who are usually told to wait until after the race to start using their radios again.

Anonymous said...

saltsburg - the Viking afterlife. I was being kinda silly there. :)

Darcie said...

First of all, a big thanks to John D for this blog. It's the only bright light in a very dark tunnel of the dying sport of Nascar.

I don't think there's any reason to go into the good, bad or ugly of this Nascar season, as we've pontificated on that since February. But suffice it to say, the broadcast networks have sucked, pure and simple. When they have scripted races all set up before the green flag drops, nothing good can come.

Teams bemoan the fact that they cannot find sponsorship and while many blame the economy, that excuse only goes so far. The biggest factor in a lack of sponsorship rests directly on the heads of ESPN/TNT/Fox. Why should any company spend millions sponsoring a car when they know, without a shadow of a doubt, that their car will not be seen on TV because the network showing the race have love affairs with maybe five drivers? They know they are not getting any bang for their buck unless they can sponsor the 48, 88, 24, 18 and 11. But if your car number is 7, 47, 55, and all the rest, you know your car is never going to be seen, even if that car is running up front.

The "nail in the coffin" comment, while maybe a slip of the tongue, really said it all----and really described the entire Nascar season. JJ winning his 5th in a row will probably BE the final nail for thousands of Nascar fans. I don't give a rat's patoot if there were 10 cars able to win the Cup during the final race, if it always winds up being JJ, this stupid Nascar playoff system is not what the fans want. And the Harvick penalty will tarnish this for JJ as fans will see nothing but a conspiracy. As as we all know from history, all it takes is one conspiracy theorist to make it interesting.

I have been a Nascar fan for many years, but I highly doubt I'll be back next season. With manufactured wins, phantom debris cautions, rules made up as they go, total and completely awful TV coverage, the insane division between the have and have not teams, the same team/owner winning year in and year out, points racing, a terrible racing car and finally the insipid Chase, I refuse to waste my time.

And you know what's really unfortunate? Since there were 3 drivers who were able to win the Chase at the final race, Sir Idiot Brian France will have the balls to say, "See, I told you the Chase could be fun and exciting !!!!". But sorry Brainless, I don't care if all 12 cars would have had the chance to win it all---but when JJ is THE winner, it doesn't matter one darned bit. Like those of us here in Wisconsin like to sing the wonderful song, "The Bears Still Suck", in my very humble opinion, The Chase still sucks, and so does TV coverage.

Anonymous said...

I thought ESPN did a great job today. If anything, I don't think they covered the 38, 29, and 11 enough. We should have known exactly which adjustments they were making each and every pit stop - down to to the pounds of air if it was known, and ESPN didn't give it to us.

I loved the points as they run ticker. With the championship on the line, this was the key bit of data and ESPN did a wonderful job keeping the viewers up to date with the current status of the points.

Great interviews after the race with all important parties.

I am not a 48 fan, but how can be upset when he went out there today and won the thing when he had to. Very impressive.

Thanks for making my afternoon great, ESPN.

GinaV24 said...

Salt, according to wikipedia - valhalla is:

In Scandinavian mythology, Valhalla (anglicized from Old Norse Valhǫllr "hall of the slain"[1]) is a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, ruled over by the god Odin. Chosen by Odin, half of those that die in combat travel to Valhalla upon death, led by valkyries, while the other half go to the goddess Freyja's field Fólkvangr.

saltsburgtrojanfan said...

Thanks Gina and Anon

saltsburgtrojanfan said...
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AncientRacer said...

SBJF

You like old obscure songs. In wake of JJ and Lord Voldemort winning again BGFE noticed me whistling and quoting KarnEvil9 by ELP. Insisted I plug this into the conversation just for you. Bye till January!

Peter

Lisa Hogan said...

Today’s coverage of the race was a mess.

Camera selection according to a pre-arranged ESPN script did not cover the race.

I never did find out why Kurt Busch hitting the wall was made into a joke by the booth.

Bestwick and Punch did a good job.
Of the four networks which cover NASCAR, ESPN ranks fourth.

I turned off the TV as soon as the race was over. I am happy to be done with ESPN for the year.

This morning, I checked on the voting for “The Most Popular Driver”. Bobby Labonte is in the top ten. How much coverage did he get today?

And some wonder why ratings are down.

As always, thanks to JD.

Anonymous said...

Supposedly the Chase generates interest by resetting the points. This is done by decreasing the points difference between the competitors when the points are reset at the start of the Chase.

Look at the Chase history from 2004 through 2010. In three of the seven Chase seasons, the final difference between first and second was less than 50 points. In two more, including this year, the difference between first and third was less than 75.

There would have been plenty of 'drama' during the final race in five of the last seven season WITHOUT the Chase. The Powers That Be need to man up and realize they're not going to compete on Sunday afternoon with the NFL.

Congrats to Jimmy on his fifth title. He's won them under the rules as written and isn't responsible for the system. I'm writing that as a Matt Kenseth fan, one of those who refers to the Chase as "the Kenseth rule". I wonder if those think Johnson's supremacy is bad for the sport would say the same thing if a more pop88lar driver dominated instead.

Palmetto said...

Oh, and the Anon 5:42 post is mine. Blasted keyboard never does what I want it to.

Delenn said...

I am not going to re-hash AGAIN what is wrong. I just hope all the TV people try to put this right.
Starting with the production truck, moving through improving the on-air talent, to reducing graphics overload.
Finally, I hope UK coverage ends up on a decent network here - one that gives HD rather than noD (which is what we got today).

saltsburgtrojanfan said...
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terri said...

Blaming Jimmie Johnson for the demise of the sport is idiotic. If it was Dale, Jr. you all would be gloating about it and hoping he'd win 7 to match his father.

The 48 team is not the problem.

I'll never give up on Nascar. I'll curse ESPN and FOX until the end of my days, though.

Dennis M said...

I guess I have a shallow learning curve since I am continually amazed by the ability of ESPN (and the others) to make a NASCAR race boring. There is no excitement! I guess they think it is "professional" to calmly describe the action with no surprise or enthusiasm.

For a taste of what real race coverage should sound like, watch the Speed coverage of a formula one race sometime.

Anonymous said...

Let's see what Tuesday's TV ratings bring. Got to believe - more bad news.

rich said...

The most popular driver in Nascar was hardly ever mentioned. If that won't hurt the ratings I don't know what will.
They have got to learn to just show the racing. They need to drop the prescripted race coverage and cut their overhead by reducing the on-air personalities by 60%.
Can't wait for the Daytona Speed week.
Thanks for a great season JD

GinaV24 said...

Terri, one thing, would you please not assume that everyone who doesn't like the chase or Johnson winning 5 in a row chase trophy's is a Jr. fan.

Sophia said...

p.s. The GRAPHICS overload was UNREAL. My mom only has 19 inch tvs. She could not see THE RACE..on our big tv's here, even the 52 inch was a waste of time. With all the graphics, scrolls & crawls, it was a cluster . . mess?!

Also the split screen needs to be re-evaluated. Too much wasted real estate on small & large screens. EPIC FAIL, there.

The rest, I've already pontificated on..sadly, one could almost write a manifesto on the out of touchness of Brian France

.
. but at this point, why?

I'm sad about the state of NASCAR, have not really "watched" the races on tv since TNT left from green to checkers....except for Dega and maybe another track but I can't remember.

TNT deserves MORE races than FOX & BSPN combined...

Do you guys remember when you used to PLAN your weekends around the races? Now we find ourselves 'checking in 'here instead or on Twitter...

Now NASCAR, for me, is a distant after thought.

Brian France is totally divorced from the fans. He might as well be in the space shuttle living on the Moon.
:(

bevo said...

Lather, rinse, repeat. Everyone knows the issues with ESPN but today added a new wrinkle with yet another graphic element and no corresponding adjustment to the framing of the camera shots to compensate. Which leads to the #1 problem - inept work by the producer and director. Until changes are made in those two positions everything else is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Getting rid of Rusty,Brad,Jamie,Tim and Vince would be a temporary improvement but they would just be replaced with even worse.

But nothing will happen since NASCAR is only a time filler for ESPN and a property to keep away from other media conglomerates.

Debbie said...

@Dave

I agree with you 100%!

Brian France & JJ have ruined this sport we all love(d) with a passion. He changes the rules to manufacture what he thinks will put the most $$ in his pocket. Racing was never and will never be a stick and ball sport. Nor will it ever pass the NFL in ratings. Give it up Brian. Step down and let someone else take the reins.

In terms of the tv coverage, remember it is Brian France again. IF he can fine drivers for speaking out negatively about NASCAR then he can and I am certain has come down and any and all media members that dont tow his line. ESPN seems to be the biggest kiss butt ones in this matter. They only cover the stories that will make BF a happy camper.

I am sure next years ratings and attendance will be down even more than this year. I for one am going to use this off season to decide if my hard earned money and time will be better spent elsewhere. I don't want to hear I am a not a "true" fan. I have been an extremely passionate fan for almost 30 years and have spent way too much money on races, souvenirs, memorabilia, etc.

I am just very discouraged and upset that BF and JJ have seemed to kill my passion for this sport. I am tired of the same story, bogus yellows, rule changes mid season and the whole Chase mess. If it's not broke, don't fix it. It wasn't broke until BF took over and wanted to mess with a good thing.

For the first time in 30+ years I am happy the season is over. My family is still in shock over this. Oh well, on to Thanksgiving and to find something else to listen to during the day instead of Sirius Channel 128!

PammH said...

Here's how bad it is for me (I'm watching High Society on TMC instead of TSP & VL. Also won't be watching NN at 10. Altho I will watch RH next wk. I'm sick & tired of this season!

Anonymous said...

I am not going to waste my breath on how horrible the coverage has been - it makes me sick to my stomach.

I do want to thank you, Mr. Daly, for providing us a wonderful blog, a place to vent, and great reporting.

Thank you for the time and effort that you put into this. I, for one, greatly appreciate it!

Greatful from WI

Jonathan said...

Oh and I give this race a flat out C no more no less it was what it was but ESPN did a better job this week w both Nationwide And Cup compaired to the past few weeks

glenc1 said...

Sophia...tell us what you really think! And I agree on most.

The story you are about to read is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

couple of things...I like Jimmie, I like Chad (who I think is 75% of the success) and I'm not a Junior fan either. I am more angry at the other teams for not stepping up--but I think NASCAR makes that harder in some ways (the whole corporate sponsorship deal, for one.) I also think the networks having agendas is not helping the fans appreciate the racing. Like AR, I will be back. By February, I'll be charged up to go again. But 'tweaking' the Chase...I'd go back to the old system & give more points for wins, simple. Clearly, this didn't solve the 'NFL' issue. I heard an ESPN analyst deplore the idea that leagues are wanting to extend the 'playoffs', and agree that MLB is the only one doing it right. Why the heck are they playing basketball & hockey in May & June? Anyways, I get that they're going to hype the top three, but this was extreme overkill. Marty came across as an idiot. I hope it's the nail in his 'figurative' coffin.

This is an aside...believe me, I've decried the 'Barbie twins' many times, but this season, although she's no Jerry Punch, I think Jamie has improved a lot (there, I said it.) It's not easy to get all that pit stop stuff out and she did pretty well almost every race.

Please, ESPN...put AB back in the booth. Maybe people will realize what they were missing. I like Rusty, but I tell you what, he needs to fix his team & leave the broadcasting to others. If they can find a 'cheerleader' role for Brad, fine, otherwise, he needs to go. I think with a better pxp guy, Andy & DJ could be better. Find a crew chief who can tell us more than how you put tape on a damaged part of a car or how they switch a battery from A to B.

Anonymous said...

I thought the coverage ESPN offered was nice. I like how they kept us up to date with the championship BUT they also did miss alot. NASCAR I think puts the networks in abox with this championship. The directors and producers really have to figure out a way to cover both angles of the race. It's not just something ESPN has struggled with, but I think back when NBC had the rights to The Chase they also had the same issues.

ESPN DID MISS ALOT! Just read on Scene Daily that Logano wrecked Montoya under yellow. There was just a small mention of this on air by ESPN. Thats it. I know there is alot more ESPN missed and thats very unfortunate.

Looking forward to 2011 and what FOX has to offer. I suspect some changes coming to FOX this season.

Anonymous said...

I've been so frustrated with Race Day and Victory Lane that I stopped watching them at mid-season. Well, I'm watching VL right now. It's still really lame with Kenny and Kyle. Are they the best that Speed can do for 2011?? Just wondering....

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:32pm is right! With 64 laps remaining and under caution,Logano wrecked Montoya who earlier hooked Logano. Why wasn't that covered in depth by Espn? Supposedly, it was casually mentioned. Or were they only going to report on the top three unless a burning car (#18) forced them to tear themselves away? You'd think they'd report on the radio traffic of the #20/#42 and/or climb up the pit boxes to get a statement. I guess that wasn't in the week old script. It never ends with Espn!

Bobby said...

If that #20 and #42 incident was on Fox, a spotter or an announcer would have nailed the incident. Thanks to the inept local radio meaning we have no MRN, and the MRN station that's closest is inaccessible here, I never heard anything about it.

Jimmie Johnson is on a dynastic run that has him seemingly chasing World Rally champion Sébastien Loeb for "who will win the most consecutive titles". Loeb is at 7, Johnson is at 5. And Carl Edwards gets a shot to race Loeb next week in Germany.

Anonymous said...

I tuned in about halfway through the race. I saw split screen, two cars in each screen, turned it off. I am not wasting my time putting up with the same old lame coverage. Slowly, I have lost interest in nascar mainly due to the bad tv coverage. I hope, but am not holding my breath, for any changes next year. Wish we had someone with nascar racing in his blood, rather than Brainless Brian. MC

Sally said...

I can't believe how happy I am that this season is finally over. I refuse to watch VL to hear more slobbering adoration over a team that has managed to figure out how to win a 10 race 'champeenship'. I give applause to them for figuring out this abortion of a system and making it even more of a mockery than it is.

ESPN has no business covering races, as they had no clue what was going on today. No one who watched on TV saw a race...they saw 3 cars sandwiched between an overload of graphics that gave no useful information. When a fan has to spend the entire race suinting at the crawler to find out where their favorite driver is because TV never even mentions it, there is a serious problem. I'm sure that format is going to bring sponsors banging down doors to sponsor teams. The prediction made when this 'playoff' was first announced has come true. ESPN made no pretense that they were going to cover any other teams on the track. In this economic climate, they are doing nothing to help Nascar survive. Of course, neither is Brian 'the brain' France. At least this coming summer I won't have to worry about missing a race while I'm showing my horse.

Buschseries61 said...

First, thank you JD for your year long commitment to the sport. You provide a site open for all opinions. This is the one and only site where I can have a peaceful debate or disagreement with others. With that said, thank you to the Planeteers for another hilarious season. You guys abd gitls keep me coming back.

This has been a PR disaster for NASCAR since Daytona. Potholes at the opening race led to uncovered reports of censorship in the summer. In the fall, ratings dropped 25% on a weekly basis. Brian France remains clueless and in end, the same driver wins the championship for the 5th time in a row. Fans already questioned NASCAR's credibility numerous times this season. NASCAR sending Harvick to the back for speeding didn't help their case. There is no momentum going into 2011. Nothing.

Jimmie's dominance really comes at a terrible time. The Chase continues to lose popularity. Johnson's personality really doesn't connect with the fans. He is the serious guy and sponsor salesman in a garage of personalities. Sponsorship is harder to find than ever and Rick Hendrick's power and dominence gcontinues to grow in the sport.

The television coverage this season was just awful for FOX and ESPN. While TNT continues to experiment with expanded features and less commercials, FOX put on a performance and tried to sell me stuff. ESPN tried to create a scrpited drama, use as many graphics as possible, and advertise their own programming.

As for today's coverage, it was pathetic. At points it was impossible to see the cars on the track there were so many graphics on the screen. Covering the race and the championship at the same time as never worked for this group. I had no idea what was going on at points, and could not even look at the ticker before nausea would set in. NASCAR has lost focus of what the sport is and how it should be represented. I don't give a d*** about the statistics, graphics, Captain Obvious, infield studio, radio chatter or in car camera - I want to watch a race.

Bricks have been falling out of the NASCAR and ESPN tower for a few years now. But the foundation has grown unstable after this season, and it will take a tremendous load of work to solidy that foundation this winter.

Anonymous said...

The coverage was bad, plain and simple. There were so many commercials that it didn't allow a viewer to follow the CHAMPIONSHIP race of the sport. Often times, they would come back from commercial with a graphic saying DENNY HAMLIN, update the 11, update the 48, briefly update the 29, and then go back to commercial.

In some instances, they would be talking about the 48, 29, and 11 and then Reid would say "let's get an update on the 11, Jaime..." - WHAT? You have just been talking about the 11 how can you say we need an UPDATE on the same car now?

Coverage-wise, I wasn't happy that they would play audio from Hamlin from five minutes earlier during a caution and play it out as if it was his live comments during racing. It is a deceptive practice. At least mention that it was audio from earlier. Don't l;ie to the viewer.

I feel they could have covered the championship drivers AND the other 40 cars if they weren't so lazy. It's this slow, lazy coverage where they don't really update what is actually happening on the track. I feel like I could go on and on with criticism.

Finally, the ratings are down across the board even with Hamlin leading Johnson and Harvick coming into this final race. The ratings will likely be low again for today and that is not the fault of the 48 and his winning for the fifth time. The same people who said they aren't watching next year are probably the same people who said they weren't watching after the last 2-3 years and yet here you are commenting after watching.

Anonymous said...

Wow Nascar needs to do some serious re-evaluation across the entire board before the 2011 season starts because a lot of the core/die-hard fans are unhappy.

fbu1 said...

Thanks for your blog JD. It has been informative all season.

I just finished watching the MLS Cup Game on ESPN. It went overtime, plus another 10 or 15 minutes of highlights, misc interviews and the trophy presentation. Soccer gets more respect on ESPN than NASCAR.

The digital media age has turned sports journalism and programming upside down. The capacity to provide more information has, ironically, provided the viewers with less actual information. The multifarious opinions of hosts, reporters and commentators are replacing actual race coverage. We all have opinions about the "TV personalities", but none of that should overshadow the poor race coverage.

The RACE! Everyone is forgetting that we tune in to watch a RACE on the track with 43 cars and drivers. It CAN be done efficiently. SPEED does it with every CW truck race, and with a smaller crew. Why can't ESPN just give us straight up race coverage without demonstrating their cool graphics software. Their slimmed down Nationwide coverage is much better IMO.

I seldom watch cup races anymore, but I do watch the truck and Nationwide series. It just frustrates me. It is like being forced to listen to a bad soprano at full high volume. It is just easier to get my race info from alternate sources. And that's too bad.

My final thought is the that the whole contrived chase scenario is the root cause of the degraded coverage. The attrition rate of unhappy fans is reflected in the ever lower ratings.

Charlie said...

I just got done watching the race. I recorded it on a Dvd. On my remote I have a button that says – CM Skip. Each time I hit this button the program moves ahead 30 seconds. I have record other races and 90% of the time I have to hit the button 5 times to get back to the race during the commercial segment. That means the commercial break is usually 2 and a half minutes.
When I watched this final race I kept track of how many minutes the commercial break were and found the majority of breaks were 3 minutes, not 2 and a half.
From the green flag to checker flag there were 22 breaks.

2 ½ minute break (like we use to always get) happened on
Lap 63. 196, 202, 247

3 minutes break
Lap 10, 19, 37, 48, 90, 99, 110, 136, 142, 165, 186, 188, 227

3 ½ minutes break
Lap 76, 154, 214

4 minute break
Lap 90, 125

So if you felt you were seeing more commercials, you were right on.

I figure Marty was probably pretty happy to do the PxP and only have to follow three drivers.

Isaiah said...

JD, as always, great site! I just wanted to give a shout-out to NASCAR.COM for having a live feed of the race on the website. That was so nice considering I don't have ESPN...

bowlalpo said...

Thank you JD for this blog, on which I've posted after-the-fact a few times. I've never been able to blog live until getting home Internet this spring, but even after that still unable to due to tending to my cancer-stricken wife, who sadly passed away the morning of the Ford 400.

I'm glad I missed most of this season (live), but I was tuned in Sunday when I heard Marty Reid's "nail in the coffin" comment. Yeah it bothered me but not for the reason you think. Reid had all year to think of a clever closing line. He needs to do what Jim Nantz (obviously) does and write it down. Sorry but that was extremely unprofessional.

(I'll never forget Reid saying "this is gonna hurt" before Geoffrey Bodine's massive wreck in the 2000 Daytona truck race.)

I share the same disgust for ESPN in general. Even with my "doctor" duties, I still watched a lot of sports. During this past Thursday thru Sunday morning, all ESPN showed on their crawls was where the 11, 29 and 48 qualified. NO mention of Kahne winning the pole. NO mention of KyBu winning the Truck race and Todd Bodine winning the points race. NO mention of KyBu winning the NNS race and Brad K. winning the points race. Terrible, disrespectful and, worst of all, uninformative.

They HAD to tell us 50 times per hour that IL vs. NU at Wrigley was going all-WEST. ESPN's NASCAR coverage, what I've been able to see of it, has gone all-WET.

I for one am looking forward to 2011. I hope to get into the live blogging and, even with their warts, am looking forward to Fox because they have FUN with it. And maybe, someone different will win the Sprint Cup!

Have a great off-season everyone. I'll be reading this blog because it'll keep my mind off of what I lost today...even for a little while.

Al P.

Charlie said...

One thing they did today was follow one car for 3 or 4 laps. Just that one car. It was interesting to see how he got through the field.
Now if the director could take this a step farther and during a race follow a car and have it be a car in the back pack. The scenes you saw today with a chase driver can be seen with a car in the back. Those guys drive a car and should be shown more.
When I go to a track I follow my driver, no matter where he is. I watch him get passed and watch him make passes. I watch how he handles groups of car around him. Use your cameras to get more drivers involved. They all have fans.

KoHoSo said...

fbu1 wrote...

Soccer gets more respect on ESPN than NASCAR.


An excellent observation in a great overall post!

The question is, why does soccer get more respect than NASCAR on ESPN? I cannot know for sure but I have a sneaking suspicion that, aside from any internal anti-racing bias in Bristol, it has to do with the fact that soccer pulls in a younger and more desired demographic than NASCAR. That also begs the question of why. It sure seems to me that soccer (especially the MLS, EPL, and the major sports apparel companies) has done a much better job of promoting soccer to younger people in a manner in which they find appealing. Meanwhile, NASCAR and its television partners have been failing for years in this area with things like...

1. Poor overall television presentation which does not dispel the myth that NASCAR is nothing but turning left...because constant in-car and bumper-cam shots, split-screens with a stunning amount of wasted viewing space, and breaks to the infield studio for incessant and useless yakking never have and never will convey the true action of an auto race of any type.

2. Failing miserably at providing full, unfettered access to race-related content via every possible platform.

3. Allowing commentators to be the voice for the sport that don't pass along any information that makes NASCAR more appealing to potential new fans.

4. Making so many long-time fans angry that they are leaving the sport and thus not passing it along to their children and other younger relatives.

I would add in some other things as well but those get us away from the media theme of Mr. Daly's blog...but I think we all know and mostly agree on what those are anyway.

This whole thing is turning into an complete and unmitigated disaster. After decades of both fans and NASCAR itself spreading the word, convincing people to watch, and bringing in new fans to raise the sport's profile to amazing heights that never could have been previously imagined, it is all being flushed away by poor television and uncaring and/or clueless management. I know that we have been able to get some changes made thanks to our participation on this blog but I am not feeling all that much hope at the moment when Brian France seems to think that things are great.

S_Banerjee said...

Pretty inexcusable to completely miss Joey's retaliation on Montoya. I only knew about it from a message board.

And 1/4 of the screen taken up by tickers. That's just great right there. Go back to the little vertical standings board ESPN used in the 90s instead.

Anonymous said...

Cawsandjaws has this info:

Total race brdcst time 144
Total comm. brdcst time 66

Ouch!

Anonymous said...

One final note on this race and season.
If ESPN can't hire someone as a reporter (Jaimie Little) who can ask a poignant question instead of her constant "tell us your emotions right now", then they should hire a pit producer who can get in her ear and TELL HER WHAT QUESTION TO ASK. Her interview with Hamlin was PATHETIC! Embarassing to anyone who has a modicum of journalistic sense. Hey, Jaimie, what do you think Hamlin's emotions are??? "Oh, gee, I'm just so HAPPY to finish second, especially after starting out the race with the points lead!!! But heck, Jaimie, you are just so cute and cuddly, and there's no one talking into your earpiece, but just you being here in all your Cute-ness makes all my disappointment as minimal as your IQ".
On top of that. during the last 60 laps, never once did I hear Reid or anyone else state what it would take for the 11 or 29 to pass 48 points lead. You know, like "at this point Jimmie will have to fall out and not finish" or, Hamlin has to win now, and harvick finsh in xx place." But no. Nothing that a true fan wants to know. Just Blah- Blah- Blathering Blah- Blah droning on and on.
Nonetheless, herewith is my 2010 Holiday song to NASCAR [To The Tune of Jingle Bells]
(ah-hem)
Jimmie Wins,
Yet again,
In his Chevy Sleigh;
Now its off to Vegas cuz there's millions on the way, hey!
Fans will sigh,
wonder why,
they bothered to tune in;
especially when, the season ends on
old E-S-P-N

Happy Merry etc
Bray Kroter

Donna in FL said...

Short & blunt. I love the Trucks & NNS with new cars, so I'll watch those as much as I can next year.
Cup, no.

Zieke said...

Since we are at the end of a declining sport on TV, maybe the networks will start trying to improve their broadcasts. Hopefully Fox will start by axing Waltrip. Then Speed can follow their lead.
Anyone else notice how well Elliot did? I realize ESPN has a monumental task trying to cover 43 drivers, which makes it difficult to keep track of anyone else but the stars. I don't see that changing.
Larry Mac put it as well as anyone concerning Jr, by saying he doesn't know what to tell his crew chief what the COT is doing. Well done!
JJ did it again, but it won't last too much longer, because the other teams are as tired of it as many fans are. Gibbs and RC will do whatever is necessary to dethrone him next year.
Thanks JD, for the chance to sound off this yr...

Wisconsin Steve said...

For all the coverage the TV networks have given "Have at it, boys" this season, you would think that ESPN would have at least mentioned Logano wrecking Montoya under caution after returning to the racetrack.

JohnP said...

Here is a very small sample of what I'm seeing on my MySpace Nascar Fan Club and Facebook page after yesterday. Remember - this is just a small sample.

"I am no longer a Nascar Fan I think it is rigged and I refuse to watch anymore"

"GOOD MORNING SIS I'M DONE WITH NASCAR DONE PACKED MY STUFF UP TO PUT IN OUR YARD SALE"

"HEY I WAS DONE WITH IT LAST WEEK I WATCHED DALLAS COWBOYS YESTERDAY"

"the fix is in no one is that good"

I would post some positive comments, but I can't find any on my walls.

KoHoSo said...

Anonymous 9:18...

I'm going to be singing your song for the rest of the year! :-D

bowlalpo...

It made me very sad to read about your loss. You have my deepest and most sincere condolences.

Anonymous said...

Pretty pitiful coverage. As already noted, was fascinating, albeit horrifying, to simultaneously follow the race on Twitter, and realize how much ESPN was missing. When they weren't screwing up basic facts, the race broadcast crew spent way too much time sounding like PR flacks for NASCAR. A disappointing end to a disappointing season of coverage

Anonymous said...

I hope I'm wrong,but I'm not expecting much from Race Hub tonight. We'll probably get a lot of gushing over Jimmie's win, endless replays of footage we've all seen 15 times and a lot of hedging and dodging regarding anything controversial that happened during the race. I think it's long overdue for the Waltrip and Wallace klan to just fade away. They're like a bunch of hanger-ons who long ago overstayed their welcome. We desparately need some new blood. There must be a place for Randy Lajoie and Ricky Craven to replace the dinosauers. All I want is knowlegeable hosts,analysts, pit reporters and announcers who give it to me straight and to the point.

Anonymous said...

Is there no NASCAR Now on Monday night to wrap up the season? Don't they always end with a journalist roundtable? I want my Jenna Fryer!

Daly Planet Editor said...

From Bob Pockrass at scenedaily.com: According to SportsBusiness Daily overnight rating for Cup race from Homestead was 3.3 which is one tenth up from the 3.2 of last year.

The Mad Man said...

At a press conference earlier in the year, BZF stated that he does not watch the races on TV. This would account for him praising BSPN and their (lack of) coverage and incompetence with the camera-work, commentators, and overload of graphics.This also shows that BZF fabricates the truth unless he recently started watching the races on TV, which I doubt because he would be ripping BSPN a new one for their poor coverage.

Expect the ratings to be lower next season because of the 5 wins in the "made-for-tv" racertainment and expect to see fewer shots of the grandstands due to a massive drop in attendance.

After spending the entire season hyping the play-offs, you'd have expected a full house at Homestead. Instead, it only look about 60% full. And that's not all because of the economy.

Just wait til 2012 and the changes/improvements coming to the IRL. It'll take a big chunk out of NA$CAR with NBC being involved with the Versus coverage and promotions.

Wisconsin Steve said...

I'll give ESPN this (and to borrow part of Rusty's favorite phrase) - they promoted their brains out for the Homestead race, especially during the week on SportsCenter; maybe that contributed to the better overnight ratings.

Anonymous said...

JD said:
"...3.3 which is one tenth up from the 3.2 of last year."

So Denny's lead going into Homestead may have been worth +.1 market share.

Love the Dragnet theme... and,

In a similar vein, I can see Jack Lord on Hawaii Five-O proclaiming to James MacArthur, "Book 'Em, Danno!" while BZF cowers in the corner of the ESPN truck.

Anonymous said...

No NASCAR Now tonight or in 2010. College basketball bumped it.

GinaV24 said...

Bray, love the song! Well done.

JD, if the race ratings are up a whole point, Brian France will probably be issuing a statement soon saying what a success the chase and the tv coverage was.

Just gave my opinion on the fan council survey. It wasn't a glowing picture I painted.

Anonymous said...

DVR the race - read about the race on Twitter during NFL...deleted the race - did not miss anything.

That is the sad state of NASCAR 2010.

Good Luck B.France - you will need it!

PammH said...

anon 1:31-what do you mean in 2010? I understand the tonite part-it's done for the season.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping someone can provide educated insight here:

Am kinda wondering what ESPN is having to pay just to air Nascar events vs. ad revenue.

Could all the annoying stuff be a necessity for them after licensing fees and business overhead?

Maybe it's a loss leader for the company...I imagine Speed airing Truck events is significantly less costly, with less overhead, enabling less ads and a more unfettered viewing experience...

Something to think about.

Anonymous said...

Some more food for thought that I've been considering - ABC/NBC/Fox all have far larger budgets available, and I would imagine a significantly bigger negotiating advantage with advertisers for rates vs. screen time.

Check the aforementioned CawsVSJaws site - you'll find they do run less ad spots. Bet they make a lot more per, tho.

They and TNT also have to pay (even despite inevitable bidding wars) for the costs of a few events.

So - and I'm sure I'm wrong, and not being an apologist...ESPN gets the remainder of the events, and Chase stuff, but they have a smaller overall budget, higher infrastructure costs, less advertising rate pull, and have to turn a profit and as a network account for losses on other events, lest they go off the air.

Hence, this could be why they promote other stuff heavily. Catch people while they are watching the channel and try to drive them to other franchises as well.

Maybe ratings for Nascar are stale, but if the entire network can show strong appeal, they can demand higher prices as a general rule.

And, if I is all wrong an' stuff, don't be too mad. I'm a dropout and certainly not a business exec.

Charlie said...

I went back and wrote down what Marty said during the last lap about the coffin comment. I believe this is right -

"That hammering you hear is the sound of the nail of the final coffin on the chase contenders hopes of upsetting Jimmie Johnson."

Darcie said...

I'm back with a slightly different approach to this mess. Look at the JJ dynasty this way: There are dynasties in every sport. You have the Yankees, Lakers, Red Wings, Steelers, Celtics and the SEC in the NCAA. So, what's the difference between those dynasties and that of JJ? I guess it's because fans find something to hate about those teams, but in all reality, there's nothing to hate about JJ. He's a boring, white bread, corporate kissing, California born race car driver. He is basically ho-hum.

But with regards to those other dynasties, people watch hoping to see them lose. I know I keep an eye on Notre Dame hoping to see them getting their butts kicked. I also watch the Yankees hoping for the same. But when it comes to JJ, nobody cares, plain and simple.

What would be the best for Nascar, and for their TV partners, would be for a black hat driver to win the championship. I really think people would tune in just to see what happens to that driver. Kyle Busch would be the perfect person for that. Look at it this way. Even though Notre Dame has sucked the past few years, they still have a huge TV contract with good ratings. I wonder what percent of those ratings are from those who just watch to see ND lose? Can you imagine the ratings if hot heads like Kyle Busch, JP Montoya, Tony Stewart, Hamlin and Harvick were fighting for a championship? I just bet that would put butts in the seats and eyes on the TV. But when you've got a boring person, regardless of how great a champion he is, winning it all, fans are falling asleep and tuning out. And, imagine the scripts that ESPN could come up with when the hot heads are fighting for a championship.

KoHoSo said...

Anonymous 1:18...

LOL, love the Hawaii Five-O suggestion!

Mr. Daly did get to my previous suggestion of using Detective Frank Drebin of Police Squad in one of his posts. However, I cannot believe that I did not bring up what would probably the the absolutely most fitting symbol of law enforcement bumbling and ineptitude that perfectly matches what we have been getting over the past few years from NASCAR and its television partners. No, not Inspector Clouseau, the Keystone Cops, Officer Barbrady, or anybody else can match this ultimate symbol of NASCAR fail...

Deputy Barney Fife

...and preferably shown in a screencap showing one of the times where Barney shoots himself in the foot. >:-)

Of course, if Mr. Daly wants to stick with cops that actually did their jobs, nobody was cooler than Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett. However, on this site where we have to pick and pick and pick to get what we want, perhaps we would be better represented by another famous TV detective of the same era, good ol' Peter Falk as Frank Columbo. ;-)

Chadderbox said...

Doesn't Harvick win under the old system?

I enjoyed the Chase Drama while it lasted. It really didn't last that long though! Couple laps yesterday! Big Deal!!

Marty Reid is pathetic! As long as he is in the booth, the viewers will continue to complain or TUNE OUT!

Brian France is PATHETIC. His Chase is a joke. He's incompetent! As long as he is in charge of Nascar this is as good as it will get. And this sucks!

Nascar disappeared right before my eyes thanks to ESPN and Brian's Chase!

I will be returning to this blog everyday until the Daytona - then I will be in my seat at Daytona! ESPN might drive me away from the TV but it won't keep me out of my seat in Daytona where I can see what the hell is happening on the track without them in my way!

Anonymous said...

interesting last comment about being at race

I go to one race each year during chase and obviously during ESPN part of the schedule and listening to the tv broadcast on the scanner while being at the track versus watching on tv is entirely different. Is it because they call it like they are at the track or the camera work is that bad?

I also will be at Daytona in 90 days - (it was 91 as per Larry Mac on Sunday) and having been to Daytona in 2004 with ABest in booth with BP and Wally listening in on FOX broadcast will be a treat. Having been to Dover Spring once and listening to FOX broadcast it it much much better that ESPN. during commercial breaks Mike Joy, DW, Hammond and even C Myers like to make comments directed at the scanner listeners in the stands. Much different than ESPN's 3 minutes of silence. This year I actually thought my scanner had disconnected cause it was silent- Marty Reid and crew very rarely talk during commercial breaks.

OSBORNK said...

I think Darcie may have hit the JJ problem right on the head. JJ is a generic driver. He is not very likable or dislikable. He is just there and there is no passion either way for him. For good ratings, there has to be somebody to hate. Sr. had as many prople watching the races hoping he would wreck or not win than there were those watching hoping he would win. There is a reason the "bad guy" in professional wrestling makes the most money.

FloridaMatt said...

Given all that led up to it, is it any surprise that last night's 10pm Nascar Now (er, well, not Now, per se) was significantly delayed by basketball, and no effort was made to slot in a season-end wrapup today?

Brian was probably too busy celebrating the "success" of the season to notice.

Trident said...

KoHoSo Nov 22 @ 4:51:
Anonymous (Trident, it wouldn't recognized my monicker) @1:18 here...

I'm pleased you liked my Hawaii Five-O post. McGarrett would NOT have let this folderol play. BZF would have been cornered in the ESPN truck, cited, and arrested!

[Barney Fife would've arrested BZF, but that poor soul would have probably lost the keys to the jail!]

And that is the whole point.

Jack Webb, Jack Lord, and even Don Knotts would have all recognized the same shortcomings of this 'coverage' as an excuse for theater.

But the paying public - the fans - are ready to round up a lynch mob. And rightly so.

Notice: The Ratings Still Inhaled Vigorously, even after the drama of the script played out.

Clearly, the 'emperor', the networks, the hired hands in the booth and the truck, and the bozos that are running these buses have no clothes. They have exhibited No Talent -repeat- No Talent. None, across the board.

This has to be the most shameful group of overpaid wanna-bees I have ever seen.

And I say that for this simple fact: Not ONE of them can claim they improved the all-important ratings.

Jack Webb and McGarrett kicked arse and took names; the bobbleheads running this travesty are clearly disconnected from the paying customers.

The slugs running the show are mere weebles with fat paychecks.
And BZF puppeteers them.
---

Thanks again, John Daly, for giving the paying NASCAR fan a place to post our critiques of the state of the sport. You're a ray of hope in an ever-dimming tunnel.

Let's hope someone who can improve this sport in a positive way can read our critiques, comments, kudos and blutos, and fix this broken mess.

Kenn Fong said...

I can only hope that someone reaches BZF in the off season and grabs him by the scruff of his neck and shakes some sense into him. Granted the economy went south, but he almost willfully took a thriving sports promotion and drove it (heh heh) into the ground.

The first thing they should do is get him a dress shirt, a tie, and a comb and teach him how to use them. He looks like someone just dragged him out of the drunk tank and stood him in a lineup for a mug shot. The very fact he does this every time means he's surrounded himself with yes-men and turned them into castrati to be double-sure they'll never talk back to him.

i'm not naive and I understand commercials are necessary to pay for the racecast. But someone has to sit down with NASCAR's three television partners and tell them that they've sped past the saturation point and the only way to right the ship (mixing metaphors, I know) is to give us side-by-side like Indy does.

I came back after only seeing a few minutes of the races over the past three or four months. (I did keep up by reading you each week, J.D., along with NASCAR Insiders.) I came in about halfway in and watched some of the racecast, but turned it off disgusted after I realized Harvick's artificial speeding penalty rigged the result for the 48. Apropos of today, I think Oswald acted alone, but I fully believe that Chad Knaus must have pictures of BZF in some illicit romance with barnyard animals.

Tonight I think I'm gonna watch Monday Night Raw. At least the WWE admit straight out the matches are fixed.

West Coast Kenny
Somewhere in California

Adam Wood said...

Go to YouTube and watch any FOX broadcast from 2001 or any NBC/TNT broadcast from about 2004 onwards. It says it all.

For start times, I like them where they are for day races. I would like to see night races pushed back another half hour so I don't have to deal with the Mrs. wanting to watch Wheel of Fortune, but that's about it.

Watched the live stream of the race on NASCAR.com-better quality than my cable provider. Enough said. Get it online + on over-the-air free networks only. No ESPN & TNT can handle Nationwide races, but I want all cup races on either ABC, CBS, FOX, or NBC. Preferably the last 3.

Anonymous said...

This season left me feeling like a kid after her big birthday party, and all she got was underwear. Ugly and practical, white cotton underwear. Totally deflated.

Maybe it was the fact that Harvick can lead the whole season, and would have won by 285 pts., (believe we were told), and he doesn't win because JJ (or more truthfully, Knaus) pulls it out for the final 12 races. It just doesn't feel . . . right. Or fun. Or cool. Or even that interesting, because it's JJ. And I'm not a huge Harvick fan by a long shot. Sure, JJ can wheel a car. For sure, Knaus is a whiz kid. But sheesh, who cares?

The plethora of commercials on ESPN was another fun-factor-killer. Not being shown much of the rest of the field, another big bummer. I don't care who is doing the broadcasting, show me the entire track and the other stores happening as they play out. NOT after five minutes of commercials. ESPN did some of that at the end of their run - but not a whole lot of it.

I just pray Daytona 2011 will be the harbinger of good news and a change to the way we're shown the racing for the whole year to come. I want to be excited once more by this sport I've loved and defended for years. (Do you know how many people think a lawyer who loves Nascar is off her rocker?)I want to know the whole story of what's going on at the track. And if the race is boring (and there have been boring races from the stands, because I was there), give me a reason to watch next week. Tell me the stories underlying what's really happening.

Race Hub deserves a big High Five for doing those in-depth segments when the RPM fiasco unfolded. Ryan Pemberton, back from major surgery, was a wonderment in his reporting. I'd listen any time he and Steve Byrnes talked with each other and learn more than I had from any other reporter.